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Flooding can occur in a number of ways. Prolonged heavy rainfall can cause rivers to breach their banks, surface water to making driving hazardous or it can cause flash flooding in a very localised area. Another type of flooding that can impact on Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is coastal flooding. Although this seems a strange concept as we are not by the sea, tidal surges can cause rivers to flood inland. This has been known to happen in Cambridgeshire, particularly around Fenland and the Wash and is one of our most significant risks. 

The Environment Agency is a key player in the Local Resilience Forum and is responsible for issuing flood warnings in this country. Using the latest technology, staff monitor rainfall, river levels and sea conditions to forecast the possibility of flooding. If flooding is forecast, warnings are issued using a set of three easily recognisable codes:

  • Flood alert - this means that flooding is possible and that you need to be prepared
  • Flood warning – this means that flooding is expected and that you should take immediate action (and not wait for a severe flood warning)
  • Severe flood warning – this is issued when there is expected to be severe flooding resulting in danger to life and disruption to communities.

More information can be found on the Environment Agency’s website or by telephoning Floodline on 0345 988 1188.


The consequences of flooding can have a devastating effect on people. Flooding to homes can cause severe damage and loss of personal items, it can require evacuation and pose health risks. It can also have a significant impact on local public services and local businesses.

What can you do?

There is a lot you can do to be prepared in the event of a flooding. Please read our flooding advice page.

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